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Placing marine protected areas onto the ecosystem-based management seascape

Citation Information: Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 Oct 26;107(43):18312-7. Epub 2010 Feb 22.

Authors: Halpern BS, Lester SE, McLeod KL.

Abstract: The rapid increase in the science and implementation of marine protected areas (MPAs) around the world in the past 15 years is now being followed by similar increases in the science and application of marine ecosystem-based management (EBM). Despite important overlaps and some common goals, these two approaches have remained either separated in the literature and in conservation and management efforts or treated as if they are one and the same. In the cases when connections are acknowledged, there is often little assessment of if or how well MPAs can achieve specific EBM goals. Here we start by critically evaluating commonalities and differences between MPAs and EBM. Next, we use global analyses to show where and how much no-take marine reserves can be expected to contribute to EBM goals, specifically by reducing the cumulative impacts of stressors on ocean ecosystems. These analyses revealed large stretches of coastal oceans where reserves can play a major role in reducing cumulative impacts and thus improving overall ocean condition, at the same time highlighting the limitations of marine reserves as a single tool to achieve comprehensive EBM. Ultimately, better synergies between these two burgeoning approaches provide opportunities to greatly benefit ocean health.

Dynamic marine protected areas can improve the resilience of coral reef systems

Citation Information: Ecology letters; 2009 Dec., v. 12, no. 12

Authors: Edward T. Game; Michael Bode; Eve McDonald-Madden; Hedley S. Grantham; Hugh P. Possingham

Abstract: Marine Protected Areas are usually static, permanently closed areas. There are, however, both social and ecological reasons to adopt dynamic closures, where reserves move through time. Using a general theoretical framework, we investigate whether dynamic closures can improve the mean biomass of herbivorous fishes on reef systems, thereby enhancing resilience to undesirable phase-shifts. At current levels of reservation (10-30%), moving protection between all reefs in a system is unlikely to improve herbivore biomass, but can lead to a more even distribution of biomass. However, if protected areas are rotated among an appropriate subset of the entire reef system (e.g. rotating 10 protected areas between only 20 reefs in a 100 reef system), dynamic closures always lead to increased mean herbivore biomass. The management strategy that will achieve the highest mean herbivore biomass depends on both the trajectories and rates of population recovery and decline. Given the current large-scale threats to coral reefs, the ability of dynamic marine protected areas to achieve conservation goals deserves more attention.

A Property Rights Approach to Understanding Human Displacement from Protected Areas: the Case of Marine Protected Areas

Citation Information: Conservation biology; 2009 Feb., v. 23, no. 1

DOI: 10.1111/j.1523-1739.2008.01050.x

Authors: MICHAEL B. MASCIA, C. ANNE CLAUS

Abstract: The physical, economic, and sociocultural displacement of local peoples from protected areas generates intense discussion among scholars and policy makers. To foster greater precision and clarity in these discussions, we used a conceptual framework from the political economy literature to examine different forms of human displacement from protected areas. Using marine protected areas (MPAs) to ground our analysis, we characterized the 5 types of property rights that are reallocated (lost, secured, and gained) through the establishment of protected areas. All forms of MPA "displacement" involve reallocation of property rights, but the specific types and bundles of rights lost, secured, and gained dramatically shape the magnitude, extent, and equity of MPA impacts--positive and negative--on governance, economic well-being, health, education, social capital, and culture. The impacts of reallocating rights to MPA resources vary within and among social groups, inducing changes in society, in patterns of resource use, and in the environment. To create more environmentally sustainable and socially just conservation practice, a critical next step in conservation social science research is to document and explain variation in the social impacts of protected areas.

Interannual variability of physical oceanographic characteristics of Gilbert Bay: A marine protected area in Labrador, Canada

Citation Information: Journal of Marine Systems, v. 88, iss. 1, p. 128-138, October 2011

Authors: Best, Sara; Lundrigan, Sarah; Demirov, Entcho; Wroblewski, Joe

Abstract: Gilbert Bay on the southeast coast of Labrador is the site of the first MarineProtectedArea (MPA) established in the subarctic coastal zone of eastern Canada. The MPA was created to conserve a genetically distinctive population of Atlantic cod, Gadus morhua. This article presents results from a study of the interannualvariability in atmospheric and physicaloceanographiccharacteristics of Gilbert Bay over the period 1949–2006. We describe seasonal and interannualvariability of the atmospheric parameters at the sea surface in the bay. The interannualvariability of the atmosphere in the Gilbert Bay region is related to the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and a recent warming trend in the local climate of coastal Labrador. The related changes in seawater temperature, salinity and sea-ice thickness in winter are simulated with a one-dimensional water column model, the General Ocean Turbulence Model (GOTM). A warming Gilbert Bay ecosystem would be favorable for cod growth, but reduced sea-ice formation during the winter months increases the danger of traveling across the bay by snowmobile.

Challenges in developing China’s marine protected area system

Citation Information: Marine Policy 33(4): 599-605.doi:10.1016/j.marpol.2008.12.005. 

Date: 2009

Authors: Qiu W, Wang B, Jones PJS and Axmacher JC

Abstract: Since the 1980s, there have been continuous increases in the coverage of marineprotected areas (MPAs) in China, and a total of 158 MPAs have been declared. The MPA systemin China is characterized by (1) decentralised designation and management with reduced controlfrom the central government; (2) a dominance of de jure fully protected MPAs that are oftenimplemented as de facto multiple-use areas; and (3) a lack of objective evaluation processes. Toimprove China’s MPA system requires an appropriate integration of fully protected andmultiple-use MPAs, and an approach that balances the advantages of top-down and bottom-upapproaches.

Marine protected areas for whales, dolphins, and porpoises: a world handbook for cetacean habitat conservation

Author: Hoyt, Erich.

Published: London ; Sterling, VA : Earthscan, 2005.

Description: 492 p.

Summary: Worldwide in coverage, the book reveals the inside story on existing and planned marine protected areas (MPAs), marine reserves, national parks and sanctuaries for whales and dolphins in national waters and on the high seas of the world. Follow ground-breaking efforts to protect the ocean with fin and sperm whales in the Mediterranean to the coldest part of the Antarctic, the marine wilderness of the Ross Sea, with minke and three kinds of killer whales. This story of pioneer conservation efforts in the marine realm is designed to be a key resource for scientists, research institutions, students, wildlife conservation agencies, MPA managers, and anyone who cares about whales and dolphins, and the special places where they live. Since most of the world's MPAs promote whale and dolphin watching and responsible marine ecotourism, the book is also being used by keen cetacean watchers to find some of the best places to watch the 87 species of whales, dolphins and porpoises in 125 countries and territories around the world.

Executive Order 13158: Marine Protected Areas

EXECUTIVE ORDER EO 13158

Effective Date: May 26, 2000

Responsible Office: Office of Management Systems

Subject: Marine Protected Areas

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America and in furtherance of the purposes of the National Marine Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act of 1966 (16 U.S.C. 668dd-ee), National Park Service Organic Act (16 U.S.C. 1 et seq.) National Historic Preservation Act (16 U.S.C. 470 et seq.) Wilderness Act (16 U.S.C. 1131 et. seq.), Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.), Coastal Zone Management Act (16 U.S.C. 1451 et. seq.), Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531 et. seq.), Marine Mammal Protection Act (16 U.S.C. 1362 et seq.) Clean Water Act of 1977 (33 U.S.C. 1251 et. seq.) National Environmental Policy Act, as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321 et. seq.), Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (42 U.S.C. 1331 et. seq.) and other pertinent statutes, it is ordered as follows:

Section 1. Purpose. This Executive Order will help protect the significant natural and cultural resources within the marine environment for the benefit of present and future generations by strengthening and expanding the Nation's system of marine protected areas (MPAs). An expanded and strengthened comprehensive system of marine protected areas throughout the marine environment would enhance the conservation of our Nation's natural and cultural marine heritage and the ecologically and economically sustainable use of the marine environment for future generations. To this end, the purpose of this order is to, consistent with domestic and international law:

(a) strengthen the management, protection, and conservation of existing marine protected areas and establish new or expanded MPA; (b) develop a scientifically based, comprehensive national system of MPAs representing diverse U.S. marine ecosystem, and the Nation's natural cultural resources; and (c) avoid causing harm to MPAs through federally conducted, approved, or funded activities.

Sec. 2. Definitions. For the purpose of this order: (a) "Marine protected area" means any area of the marine environment that has been reserved by Federal, State, territorial, tribal, or local laws or regulations to provide lasting protection for part or all of the natural and cultural resources therein.

Genetic considerations on the introduction of farmed fish in marine protected areas: The case of study of white seabream restocking in the Gulf of Castellammare (Southern Tyrrhenian Sea)

Citation Information: Journal of Sea Research, Volume 68, p. 41-48; 02/2012

DOI: 10.1016/j.seares.2011.12.005

Authors: González-Wangüemert, Mercedes; Fernández, Tomás Vega; Pérez-Ruzafa, Angel; Giacalone, Maximiliano; D'Anna, Giovanni; Badalamenti, Fabio

Abstract: Human exploitation has drastically reduced the abundance and distribution of several marine fish and invertebrate populations through overfishing and habitat destruction. Restocking can potentially mitigate these impacts and help to reconstitute depleted stocks but genetic repercussions must be considered. In the present study, the degree of genetic similarity between white seabream (Diplodus sargus Linnaeus 1758) individuals reared for restocking purposes and the receiving population in the Gulf of Castellammare fishery reserve (Sicily, Italy) was assessed using microsatellites. We also inferred the spatial pattern of the genetic structure of D. sargus and connectivity along Sicilian coasts. The farmed population showed significant heterozygosity deficiency in 6 loci and an important reduction in the number of alleles, which could indicate an incipient inbreeding. Both the farmed population and the target one for restocking (Castellammare fishery reserve), showed high and significant values of genetic differentiation due to different allele frequencies, number of privative alleles and total number of alleles. These findings indicate a low degree of genetic similarity between both populations, therefore this restocking initiative is not advisable. The genetic connectivity pattern, highly consistent with oceanographic currents, identified two distinct metapopulations of white seabream around Sicily. Thus it is recommended to utilize broods from the same metapopulation for restocking purposes to provide a better genetic match to the wild populations.

Comparison of modern and historical fish catches (AD 750-1400) to inform goals for marine protected areas and sustainable fisheries

Citation Information: Conserv Biol. 2011 Oct;25(5):945-55. doi: 10.1111/j.1523-1739.2011.01694.x. Epub 2011 Jun 15

Authors: McClanahan TR, Omukoto JO.

Abstract: We tested the unsustainable fishing hypothesis that species in assemblages of fish differ in relative abundance as a function of their size, growth rates, vagility, trophic level, and diet by comparing species composition in historical bone middens, modern fisheries, and areas closed to fishing. Historical data came from one of the earliest and most enduring Swahili coastal settlements (approximately AD 750-1400). Modern data came from fisheries near the archeological site and intensively harvested fishing grounds in southern Kenya. The areas we sampled that were closed to fishing (closures) were small (<28 km(2) ) and permanent. The midden data indicated changes in the fish assemblage that are consistent with a weak expansion of fishing intensity and the unsustainable fishing hypothesis. Fishes represented in the early midden assemblages from AD 750 to 950 had longer life spans, older age at maturity, and longer generation times than fish assemblages after AD 950, when the abundance of species with longer maximum body lengths increased. Changes in fish life histories during the historical period were, however, one-third smaller than differences between the historical and modern assemblages. Fishes in the modern assemblage had smaller mean body sizes, higher growth and mortality rates, a higher proportion of microinvertivores, omnivores, and herbivores, and higher rates of food consumption, whereas the historical assemblage had a greater proportion of piscivores and macroinvertivores. Differences in fish life histories between modern closures and modern fishing grounds were also small, but the life histories of fishes in modern closures were more similar to those in the midden before AD 950 because they had longer life spans, older age at maturity, and a higher proportion of piscivores and macroinvertivores than the modern fisheries. Modern closures and historical fish assemblages were considerably different, although both contained species with longer life spans.

Marine protected areas: Theoretical background for design and operation

Citation Information: Russian journal of marine biology; 2009 Nov., v. 35, no. 6

Author: Mokievsky, V. O.

Abstract: This review paper deals with the problem of the design and operation of marine reserves in the context of modern views on the hierarchical organization of marine ecosystems. The state of the art in the theoretical aspect of the establishment and development of marine protected areas (MPAs) is discussed. Despite the increasing number of publications on MPAs, which are mainly focused on social and economic issues, studies devoted to the ecological bases for the establishment and operation of marine reserves are still scarce. However, the low efficiency of the existing MPAs and their systems may be a result of the lack of an ecological background in MPA designs. Recent threats to the diversity of marine organisms are analyzed, and changes in the relative significance of anthropogenic factors affecting the marine biological diversity are assessed. The hierarchical nature of and the existence of characteristic spatial scales in the marine ecosystems are critical issues that must be taken into account together with scale-oriented analysis of the anthropogenic threats. On the basis of the scale-oriented concept of the marine ecosystems, new theoretical approaches to the design and operation of MPAs are formulated. In particular, theoretical bases for the estimation of the minimal size of marine reserves and a hierarchical approach to the design of MPA systems are proposed. Formal schemes of classification of sea bottom communities (The Marine Habitat Classification for Britain and Ireland and EUNIS) are discussed.

Assessing water quality in Marine Protected Areas from Southern California, USA

Citation Information: Mar Pollut Bull. 2011 Dec;62(12):2780-6. Epub 2011 Oct 13

Authors: Schiff K, Luk B, Gregorio D, Gruber S.

Abstract: Despite the regulatory mandate to maintain "natural water quality", there are ≥ 271 storm drain discharges that potentially threaten the 14 designated marine water quality protected areas in Southern California called Areas of Special Biological Significance (ASBS). After sampling 35 site-events, the geomean concentrations of total suspended solids, nutrients, total and dissolved trace metals, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in the ocean following storm events were similar between reference drainages and ASBS discharge sites. Concentrations of chlorinated hydrocarbons were nondetectable and no post-storm sample exhibited significant toxicity to the endemic purple sea urchin (Strongylocentrotus purpuratus) near ASBS discharge sites. A reference-based threshold was developed and, despite the similarities in average concentrations, there were some individual ASBS discharge sites that were greater than reference background. Cumulatively across all ASBS, the constituents that were most frequently greater than the reference-based threshold were nutrients and general constituents, followed by dissolved and total trace metals.

National Marine Protected Areas Center External Review

Agency: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administraction (NOAA), Department of Commerce

Action: Request for public comment.

Summary: On May 26, 2000, President Clinton signed Executive Order (EO) 13158, directing federal agencies (led by NOAA and DOI) to establish a comprehensive national system of MPAs serving multiple conservation and management goals. To this end, the EO directs NOAA to establish a National Marine Protected Area Center (‘‘MPA Center’’) within NOAA (Sec. 4(e)) to carry out several provisions in cooperation with the Department of the Interior. Over the past decade, the MPA Center has conducted a variety of efforts to establish and support the growing national system through targeted science, information resources, coordination and policy development.

Dates: Written comments must be submitted on or before January 10, 2012.

Wetland landscape pattern analysis with remote sensing images in Ximen Island special marine protected area

Citation Information: Earth Resources and Environmental Remote Sensing/GIS Applications II. Edited by Michel, Ulrich; Civco, Daniel L. Proceedings of the SPIE, Volume 8181, pp. 818114-818114-6 (2011)

Date: October 2011

DOI: 10.1117/12.897709

Abstract: This paper focuses on the wetland of Ximen Island special marine protected areas in Yueqing Bay, Zhejiang, China. In this paper, four remote sensing images from Landsat-7, SPOT-4, SPOT-5 and WorldView-2 satellites are collected. These images are used for wetland investigation and analysis. Wetland information of island and tidal flat is derived from the remote sensing images. Wetland in island includes aquaculture water, pond water, paddy fields and reservoirs. Tide wetland includes vegetation areas, breeding areas, mud tide flat and water. The results mainly showed that the area of island wetland is 1,281,973.04 square meters, accounting for 18.09% of the whole island area, and that the mangroves communities distribute along the coast of Ximen Island.

Optimizing voluntary compliance in marine protected areas: a comparison of recreational fisher and enforcement officer perspectives using multi-criteria analysis

Citation Information: J Environ Manage. 2011 Oct;92(10):2558-67. Epub 2011 Jun 12

Authors: Read AD, West RJ, Haste M, Jordan A.

Abstract: A comprehensive list of planning criteria for optimizing compliance in Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) was compiled and used to compare the views of recreational fishers and compliance officers for facilitating voluntary compliance in the Port Stephens - Great Lakes Marine Park (PSGLMP). Expert working groups were tasked separately with: 1) criteria identification and weighting; 2) scoring of no-take zones; 3) prioritizing and determining uncertainty; and 4) analysis of results and sensitivity testing. Multi-Criteria Analysis (MCA) revealed that both groups had similar perspectives and recommendations, despite weighting the individual planning criteria differently. Significantly, "manageability" scores for no-take zones from MCA appeared to correlate well with past numbers of enforcement actions recorded for each zone. This provides empirical evidence that adopting manageability criteria during the planning of MPAs could lead to a marked increase in voluntary compliance. As a result, greater consideration to compliance planning during MPA design and zoning is recommended in order to optimize voluntary compliance. Whilst the majority of no-take zones in the PSGLMP case study were evaluated as being relatively effective in terms of optimizing voluntary compliance, there remains considerable potential to improve design, management and use of the poorer performing zones. Finally, the study highlighted the value of recreational fisher engagement in MPA planning processes to maximize voluntary compliance and manageability.

Congruence among encounters, norms, crowding, and management in a marine protected area

Citation Information: Environ Manage. 2011 Sep;48(3):499-513. Epub 2011 Jun 28

Authors: Bell CM, Needham MD, Szuster BW.

Abstract: Over the past few decades, recreation and tourism use has increased at many marine protected areas, generating concerns about impacts of this increasing use on experiences and conditions at these areas (e.g., crowding, conflict). This article uses data from Molokini Shoal Marine Life Conservation District in Hawai'i to examine: (a) reported encounters, crowding, normative tolerances for various use levels, and support of use related management strategies at this site; and (b) whether users who encounter higher use levels than their norms feel more crowded and are more supportive of restrictive management strategies. Data were obtained from onsite pre-trip and post-trip questionnaires of 712 passengers on commercial snorkel and dive tours visiting this site. Norms were measured with acceptance of 12 photographs depicting levels of boat use. On average, users would accept seeing no more than approximately 16 boats at one time at Molokini and this number was observed on over 20% of trips to the site. Although the majority of users expected to escape crowds at Molokini, 67% felt crowded and up to 79% supported actions that would directly restrict use at this site (e.g., limit number of boats). Users who encountered more boats than their normative tolerance felt more crowded and were more supportive of these management strategies. Findings suggest that this marine protected area is operating over its capacity and management is needed to improve experiences and conditions.

Updates to List of National System of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs)

Agency: NOAA, Department of Commerce (DOC).

Action: Notice of updates to the List of National System of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and response to comments on nominations of existing MPAs to the national system.

Summary: The National System of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) provides a mechanism for MPAs managed by diverse government agencies to work together on common conservation priorities. In July 2011, NOAA and the Department of the Interior (DOI) invited federal, state, commonwealth, territorial and tribal MPA programs with potentially eligible existing MPAs to nominate their sites to the National System of MPAs (national system). A total of 58 nominations were received, including three from the American Samoa Department of Marine and Wildlife Resources, 40 from the Massachusetts Board of Underwater Archaeological Resources, three from the National Park Service, one from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, five from the Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources, two from the South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology, one from the Virgin Islands Department Of Planning and Natural Resources and three from the Washington Department of Natural Resources. Following a 45-day public review period, two public comments were received by the National Marine Protected Areas Center (MPA Center). Both comments were supportive of the Fort Pulaski National Monument, which was nominated by the National Park Service. The managing agencies listed above were asked to make a final determination of sites to nominate to the national system. Finding them to be eligible for the national system, the MPA Center has accepted the nominations for 58 sites and placed them on the List of National System MPAs.

Costa Rica's Marine Protected Areas: status and perspectives

Citation Information: Rev Biol Trop. 2012 Mar;60(1):129-42

Authors: Alvarado JJ, Cortés J, Esquivel MF, Salas E.

Abstract: With 51 100km2 of terrestrial area and 589 000km2 of national waters, Costa Rica is considered one of the countries with the greatest biodiversity. It has approximately 3.5% of the world marine species. In the last four decades, Costa Rica has done a considerable effort to create a representative system of Protected Areas (PA), mainly terrestrial. We present an assessment of the current situation of the Marine Protected Areas (MPA) in Costa Rica, through an historical analysis, and an evaluation of their distribution, coverage and management categories. Costa Rica has 166 protected areas covering 50% of the coastline; of these 20 are MPAs, classified as National Parks (90.6%), National Wildlife Refuges (6.6%), Wetlands (1.5%), Biological Reserves (1%), and one Absolute Natural Reserve (0.3%). According to IUCN criteria, 93.7% correspond to category II, 5% to IV and 1.3% to I. The marine protected surface is 5 296.5km2, corresponding to 17.5% of the territorial waters and 0.9% of the Exclusive Economic Zone. The median distance between MPAs is 22.4km in the Pacific and 32.9km along the Caribbean. The median size is close to 54km2. The main threats to MPAs are the lack of coordination between governmental agencies, limited economic resources, restricted patrolling and control, poor watershed management, and rampant coastal alteration.

Dispersal patterns of coastal fish: implications for designing networks of marine protected areas

Citation Information: PLoS One. 2012;7(2):e31681. Epub 2012 Feb 15.

Authors: Di Franco A, Gillanders BM, De Benedetto G, Pennetta A, De Leo GA, Guidetti P.

Abstract: Information about dispersal scales of fish at various life history stages is critical for successful design of networks of marine protected areas, but is lacking for most species and regions. Otolith chemistry provides an opportunity to investigate dispersal patterns at a number of life history stages. Our aim was to assess patterns of larval and post-settlement (i.e. between settlement and recruitment) dispersal at two different spatial scales in a Mediterranean coastal fish (i.e. white sea bream, Diplodus sargus sargus) using otolith chemistry. At a large spatial scale (∼200 km) we investigated natal origin of fish and at a smaller scale (∼30 km) we assessed "site fidelity" (i.e. post-settlement dispersal until recruitment). Larvae dispersed from three spawning areas, and a single spawning area supplied post-settlers (proxy of larval supply) to sites spread from 100 to 200 km of coastline. Post-settlement dispersal occurred within the scale examined of ∼30 km, although about a third of post-settlers were recruits in the same sites where they settled. Connectivity was recorded both from a MPA to unprotected areas and vice versa. The approach adopted in the present study provides some of the first quantitative evidence of dispersal at both larval and post-settlement stages of a key species in Mediterranean rocky reefs. Similar data taken from a number of species are needed to effectively design both single marine protected areas and networks of marine protected areas.

Marine protected areas and the governance of marine ecosystems and fisheries

Citation Information: Conserv Biol. 2011 Dec;25(6):1130-3. doi: 10.1111/j.1523-1739.2011.01771.x

Authors: McCay BJ, Jones PJ.

Abstract: Marine protected areas (MPAs) are spatially defined marine units in which one or more human activities—particularly fishing—are restricted or prohibited. They represent a precautionary and ecosystem-based approach to ocean management (Mangel 2000; Pikitch et al. 2004; Jones 2006). The 1992 Convention for Biological Diversity set a target for 10% of the global marine area to be designated as MPAs by 2010. Progress with designating MPAs is, however, slow, MPAs covering just 1.3% of the marine area and 3.2% of marine areas under national jurisdiction. Consequently, the deadline was recently extended to 2020. Nonetheless, in the past two decades there has been a rapid increase in MPA research and implementation throughout the world. If the governance of MPAs is improved in ways we describe here, MPAs and other place-based approaches will continue to be important tools for the management of marine resources.

Marine Protected Areas: An Overview

Authors: Congressional Research Service; Jeffrey Zinn, Eugene H. Buck, and Harold F. Upton

Date: July 26, 2007

Summary: Some Members of Congress (among many others) are interested in considering limiting human activity in some areas of the marine environment as one response to mounting evidence of deteriorating conditions and declining populations of living resources. The purposes of proposed additional limits would be to both stem the decline and permit the rehabilitation of these environments and populations. One method of implementing this concept is to designate areas where activity would be limited, often referred to as marine protected areas (MPAs). Translating the MPA approach into a national program, however, requires resolution of many economic, ecological, and social debates.

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